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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  October 25, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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10/25/17 10/25/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> the traditional way, if you look at president obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls. a lot did not make calls. i like to call when it is appropriate, when i think i am able to do it. they have made the ultimate sacrifice. amy: as president donald trump attacked the widow of a u.s. soldier killed in niger, today we spend the hour with one of the country's best known gold star father's whose son was
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killed in iraq in 2004. khan spoke out at the democratic national convention. >> donald trump, you're asking americans to trust you with their future. let me ask you, have you even read the united states constitution? will -- i will gladly lend you my copy. amy: khizr khan is the author of "an american family: a memoir of hope and sacrifice." today he joins us to discuss his families struggle and sacrifice, their experience as muslim immigrants in the united states, and more. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and
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peace report. i'm amy goodman. in puerto rico, less than 10% of the island's public schools were able to resume classes on tuesday, now a month after hurricane maria devastated the island. of the schools that were able to reopen, most had no electricity internet access. more than 80% of the island is still without power. on tuesday, congress approved a $36.5 billion emergency spending plan to fund the recovery from hurricanes harvey, irma, and maria. the spending plan gives puerto rico access to $4.9 billion in loans. the plan also gives billions to fema and the national flood insurance program. meanwhile, a tiny montana company called whitefish energy has won a $300 million contract with the puerto rico electric power authority, known as prepa, to restore parts of puerto rico's devastated electrical power grid. the company is only two years old and had only two full-time
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employees when hurricane maria hit puerto rico. it's based in whitefish, montana -- the tiny hometown of interior secretary ryan zinke. zinke has admitted he knows the company's ceo, although zinke claims he had no role in brokering the contract. the company, whitefish energy, is backed by the private equity firm hbc investments, whose founder donated $27,000 to trump's primary election campaign and another $20,000 to the trump victory pac during the general election. at least 80% of puerto rico still has no electricity, and about a quarter of the island still lacks clean drinking water. there are dozens of suspected cases of the leptospirosis, a potentially fatal bacterial infection caused by contact with water contaminated by animal urine. authorities are investigating whether four deaths were caused by the disease. meanwhile, in texas, a 31-year-old man who was helping
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repair homes damaged by hurricane harvey has died after he was diagnosed with a rare flesh-eating bacterial disease. he's at least the second person now in texas to die after contracting the extremely rare disease from harvey's floodwaters. a sweltering heat wave is smashing temperature records across southern california. at least eight cities set new daily records on monday, including long beach, which hit 105 degrees. on tuesday night, the professional baseball teams the houston astros and the los angeles dodgers faced off at the hottest world series game ever played. it was 103 degrees at the dodgers' stadium in los angeles, smashing the previous temperature record by nearly 10 degrees. the dodgers beat the astros three to in more news on climate one. change, a new study by the world bank says that the amount of food destroyed by drought could feed 80 million people every day for a year. scientists have linked
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increasing and worsening droughts to climate change. the united nations reports global hunger is now on the rise after declining for the last 15 years. the u.n. study says 815 million people went hungry in 2016 and that the rise was primarily caused by war and climate change. arizona republican senator jeff flake has announced he will not run for reelection in 2018 and condemned president trump in a blistering speech on the senate floor on tuesday. >> the notion that one should stay silent as the norms and diaries bank of america strong are undermine and as the alliances and agreements that assure the stability of the entire world are routinely threatened by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters. the notion that we should say or do nothing in the face of such material behavior is ahistoric and i believe profoundly
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misguided. we must stop pretending the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. they are not normal. reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as "telling it like it is," when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified. amy: tennessee republican senator bob corker slammed president trump tuesday after trump took to twitter to disparage corker for not supporting his tax plan, which would shower massive tax breaks onto the wealthiest americans, including trump himself. trump tweeted senator corker, the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, "couldn't get elected dog catcher in tennessee." corker responded by tweeting -- "same untruths from an utterly untruthful president. #alertthedaycarestaff" corker also slammed trump in an
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interview with reporters hours before trump joined senate republicans for a lunch on capitol hill. >> standing up in front of the american people and stating untruths that everyone knows to be untrue, just attempted bullying that he does -- which everybody sees through. just the dividing of our country. the president of the united states is something that i think is debasing to our country. amy: a protester was arrested tuesday after he threw russian flags at president trump and repeatedly shouted "trump is treason" as trump walked into a lunch with senate republicans at the u.s. capitol building. >> trump is treason. trump is treason. amy: the protester, ryan clayton, with the group americans take action, also accused president trump of colluding with russia to steal the 2016 presidential election.
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new details have emerged showing that the clinton campaign and the democratic national committee funded the research that led to the dossier alleging trump had ties to russia and that the trump campaign may have colluded with the government of russia. post" reports a clinton campaign and dnc lawyer contracted a washington dc-based firm, which went on to hire former british intelligence agent christopher steele to investigate and prepare the dossier. senators have drafted a nuclear deal with iran following president trump's refusal -- drafted legislation that would impose new terms on the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with iran, following president trump's refusal to certify iran's compliance with an international nuclear deal. the legislation is being drafted by republican senators bob corker and tom cotton with the backing of the trump administration. opponents say the legislation could violate the international agreement. reuters reports it would impose new terms related to trade and aviation, and would instantly
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re-impose sanctions if iran were deemed capable of developing a nuclear weapon within one year. senate republicans voted down a rule that would have made it easier for americans to sue banks and credit card companies. vice president mike pence cast the tie breaking vote tuesday. it was a major victory for wall street. the rule, developed by the consumer financial protection bureau, would have allowed people to file class-action lawsuits that could cost the banks billions of dollars. in media news, the fcc have voted to eliminate a decades-old rule that ensured community residents can have say in their local broadcast station. the regulation, known as the "main studio rule," requires broadcasters to have a physical studio near where they have a license to transmit. opponents say the elimination of the rule will accelerate the consolidation in the media industry, allowing massive corporate media companies, such as the right-wing sinclair broadcast group, to buy up and
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control even more local stations. a number of prominent fashion magazines and companies have announced they will no longer work with photographer terry richardson following nearly two decades of accusations of sexual harassment. richardson is one of the most prominent photographers in the world. he has photographed everyone from former president barack obama to model kate moss. he has long faced accusations that he coerces young women into exploitative positions and sexually harasses them during photo shoots. his blacklisting comes after dozens of women came forward to accuse now-disgraced movie producer harvey weinstein of sexual harassment, assault and rape. in the philippines, community radio journalist christopher iban lozada was murdered by gunmen on tuesday night in the city of bislig in the southern region of mindanao. lozada had received multiple death threats leading up to his murder. the philippines is one of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists.
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back in the united states, one third of u.s. service members said they consider white nationalist to be a greater threat to u.s. security than the conflicts in iraq, afghanistan, or syria. that is according to a new poll by the newspaper "military times." the poll shows one in four service members say they have seen displays of white nationalism by their fellow soldiers. a federal kill scored in washington, d.c., -- a federal appeals court in washington, d.c., has ruled an undocumented teenager detained in a refugee resettlement shelter in texas does have the right to have an abortion. the ruling comes after the trump administration tried to stop the 17-year-old from accessing an abortion. her lawyer says the staff at the refugee shelter in the brownsville, texas, forced the girl to call her abusive parents to tell them about her pregnancy despite the fact that her parents allegedly beat the girl's older sister until she miscarried for getting pregnant out of wedlock. the lawyer also says the staff
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retaliated against the girl after learning about her plans to get an abortion, limiting her time with other kids at the shelter, and allegedly repeatedly asking her what she planned to name the baby. and football players on the philadelphia eagles traveled to pennsylvania's capitol to lobby for criminal justice reform tuesday. the three players -- malcolm jenkins, chris long, and torrey smith -- lobbied for the passage of the clean slate act, which would seal criminal records for nonviolent misdemeanors after 10 years, making it easier for people to get homes and housing. -- to get jobs and housing. malcolm jenkins's brother was convicted of marijuana possession while still a teenager, a conviction that continues to make it difficult for him to find jobs. torrey smith's mother also had trouble finding well-playing jobs after she was convicted of a felony stemming from her abusive relationship with her ex-husband. she was later pardoned by then-virginia governor mark warner.
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and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. as president donald trump refuses to back down from attacks on the widow of a u.s. soldier killed in niger, today we spend the hour with one of the country's best known gold star family members whose son was killed in iraq. as investigations continue into a deadly october 4 ambush in which five soldiers from niger and four u.s. soldiers were killed while on patrol, the widow of one of the men is speaking out against trump's handling of the aftermath of the attack. the widow of u.s. army sergeant la david johnson said during a condolence call, the president couldn't remember the name of her husband. in an interview with abc's "good morning america," myeshia johnson also said she heard president trump say, "he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway." >> what he said was --
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>> the president. >> yes, the president. he said, "he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway." it made me cry because i was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he set it. he couldn't remember my husband name. the only way he remembered my husband name because he told me he had my husband report in front of him. and that is when he actually said " la david." juan: the week before, trump falsely claimed his predecessors didn't call the families of fallen soldiers. last thursday, white house chief of staff john kelly, a former marine corps general and a gold star father himself, defended donald trump and doubled down on his criticism of florida congressmember frederica wilson, who is a close friend of the johnson family and was in the car when trump made the call. she later told reporters what he said. both the congresswoman and the widow are african-american. this is kelly. >> he knew what he was getting
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himself into because he enlisted. he enlisted. he is where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken. that was the message. that was the message that was transmitted. it stuns me that a member of congress would have listened in on that conversation. absolutely stuns me. and i thought, at least that was sacred. up, a lot ofing things were sacred in our country. women were sacred. looked upon with great honor. that is always laid out the case anymore as we have seen from recent cases. the dignity of life was sacred. that is gone. religion. that seems to be gone as well. gold star family's, i think that left in the convention over the summer. devotionought selfless that brings a man or woman to
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die on the battlefield, i just thought that that might be sacred. amy: well, the convention over the summer that general kelly refers to is likely last years democratic national convention, where one of the defining moments of the presidential campaign took place. that's when gold star father khizr khan, joined by his wife ghazala, spoke about his son, captain humayun khan, who was killed in 2004 by a suicide bomber in iraq. the army posthumously awarded captain khan a bronze star and a purple heart. he was the highest-ranking pakistani-american to die in iraq and was buried in arlington national cemetery with full military honors. during khizr khan's speech, he criticized trump's call to ban muslims from entering the united states and famously pulled a copy of the constitution from his pocket, held it up for all to see, and offered to lend it to the then republican candidate donald trump. cameke many immigrants, we
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to this country empty-handed. we believed in american democracy, that with hard work and goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings. we are blessed to raise our wheresons in a nation they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams. son humayun had dreams, to, of being a military lawyer. aside put those dreams
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lifeay he sacrificed his to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. [applause] hillary clinton was right when she called my son "the best of america." [applause] if it was up to donald trump, he never would have been in america. smearstrump consistently the character of muslims. he disrespects other minorities -- women, judges, even his own party leadership.
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he vows to build walls and ban us from this country. [boos] trump, you're asking americans to trust you with their future. you, have you even read the united states constitution? applause]d copy. gladly lend you my [applause] document, look for the "equalliberty" and protection of law."
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have you ever been to arlington cemetery? bravek at the graves of patriots who died defending the united states of america. you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities. you have sacrificed nothing and no one. [applause] amy: that was khizr khan speaking at the 2016 democratic national convention. he joins us in studio for the hour. we will be back with him in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "lives in the balance" written by jackson browne, performed here by richie havens. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: today we spend the hour with khizr khan whose new memoir is just out this week titled, "an american family: a memoir of hope and sacrifice." khizr khan and his wife ghazala are gold star parents whose son, captain humayun khan, was killed in iraq. awarded athumously bronze star and purple heart, highest-ranking pakistani have an american killed in iraq and buried in arlington national cemetery with full military honors. amy: khizr khan spoke at the 2016 democratic national convention in honor of his son. during the speech, he criticized donald trump's call to ban muslims from entering the u.s. and famously offering to loan the republican candidate his pocket copy of the u.s.
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constitution. khizr khan, i want to start with -- welcome a first of all, welcome to democracy now! and asking you about this controversy in niger. you have four special forces who are killed in niger. you then have a condolence call that president trump made to the widow of la david johnson, one of the surgeons who was killed -- sergeants who was killed. the call made in the car on a speakerphone and her dear friend, mentor for la david johnson, woman frederica wilson, was in the car. when they got out of the car to meet the body of la david johnson, press were there. whaticka wilson said president trump had said to the widow that made her cry. i am wondering your thoughts on the morning of the funeral of la david johnson.
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president trump did not mention la david johnson in his tweets, but went after the commerce member. both the widow and the congressmember frederica wilson are african-american. bravest, those four sonos, brave heroes. they were under most difficult circumstances protecting our nation, making sure that we enjoy peace in this nation. their sacrifice, their families, dignity,he utmost respect, and privacy. this call could have waited a few days until after the burial. and that is where john kelly, we pay tribute to his military service, his family's sacrifice, in people'serves house. he is on people's payroll.
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his responsibility is to make sure that this president who lacks empathy, lacks sympathy, leadership, is directed to act with dignity, directed to act about this moment with utmost respect to these families. this is what he should have done. the lack of this president. he should have put the exact words in front of him to recite from. that is one thing. hisnd, it was responsibility, john kelly's responsibility, to make sure that the family that is being called is at a peaceful place. is not -- normally, these calls do not take place without protocol. the white house would call, can you take the call? i hope that was done. if that was done, the -- that was also botched.
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the family is in the car and this call is being made? privacy a most support from this nation. that was not done. i don't know why john kelly should stay on the public's payroll if he is going to be providing this kind of leadership. this is tradition of this nation. this military service is honored when military officers, when military personnel retires. they go home with dignity and honor and collect their pension. but if they step back in political life, they must whiche the leadership for they have been trained. that was not done. john kelly stood with the most bigoted ,resident in support of disrespecting this family. that is what my disappointment is from john kelly. theseonor the sacrifice gold star family's -- they're
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the most dignified families of this nation. and i pay my tribute to them and are sacrifice. juan: obviously, when you made your speech at the democratic national convention, candidate trump then responded to your statements. i am wondering now, this sort of inability of either candidate trump or president trump to really develop clear empathy with gold star families. your reaction how president trump responded to you? said it soghazala right, that this president doesn't know what sympathy or empathy is. he is avoid of that. he is void of the basic character of the leader is to emphasize -- empathize those he wishes to leave. that has become evident. making up stories, making up
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political expediency is the hallmark of this white house, including the president. any situation, in the moment ,here restraint is the order that should have been the advice of john kelly to president. restraint. but they indulged in political expediency. how can we exploit this moment of at most dignity and grief of these families to their drainage? that is what was done. in our case from the same thing, regardless of who they were. that moment was also a moment of restraint, but he did not. trumpet's go to candidate as you spoke at the democratic national convention. mr. trump: i saw him. he was very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me. his wife, if you look at his
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wife, she was standing there. she had nothing to say. a.b. she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. you tell me. plenty of people have written that. amy: later, ghazala khan responded to trump writing -- talk more, khizr khan, about
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this attack on your wife and what has come of it since the man who attacked her and you became president of the united states. >> well, this nation is witnessing the maligning of the dignity of the office of the presidency. these traits that we are witnessing, we witnessed as candidate trump and now we are witnessing as president trump. there are some characters -- and the reason i narrate this -- and i have listed that in my experience having lived twice under martial law, under dictatorships, under those who are anti-democratic values. twice in my life. once in school. the second time when i was in law school. this is what they do. and you connect the dots will stop amy: you grew up in pakistan. >> in pakistan.
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i narrate that story in the book in amazing detail. press. against the that is the history of all autocratic, all dictators. they go against the press. they malign them. eyewitness with my own eyes burning of the press because they printed something critical of the general of the military leader of the later. the second thing they do, people's representative in the assemblies are no good. they ought to be thrown outpost of only my people will govern the country. people'sgn the representative assemblies. look what is taking place in the united states today by this president. then they go after the rule of law. these judges are no good. i will appoint the judges. you connect the dots.
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attacmocracy is under not only from outside, but from inside. i was witnessed to win the soviet union disintegrated and i told the story in the book in detail. that they have not forgotten the it -- -- i was witness to rightly so, america supported the disintegration of the soviet union. outside andk from this divisive president, divisive white house, this is a collection of incompetence. john kelly was secretary of homeland, implementing, supporting the illegal, unconstitutional executive orders of this president -- which are in the course.
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i stood than with the goodness of america. i stand now -- i have submitted two reeves. first in the ninth circuit against the exec at a borders, and one in the supreme court against the executive orders banning muslims and all of this. this competency is so visible now not only to us, but look at what is taking place in these couple of weeks. the republican leadership, the most honorable members of our elected officials are separating from this president and his policies. so this is what happened. that candidate became president. and look we are at the direction of this country is as if there is no direction. we're going every which way, everywhere. one cup in your book, you talk
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about your first exposure to american principles of democracy. you were in a market and you came across an old beat up copy of the u.s. constitution. could you talk about that and how it affected your viewpoint that eventually resulted in your family immigrating to the united states in 1980? >> we tell that story in our book. by the way, the purpose of writing this book was to not only tell this story, but to support a scholarship which is funded from the proceeds of this book under the name of captain humayun khan. that is a side issue. but i was 22 years old. i was in the second year of law school. i had taken a course, comparative studies of the world constitution. were includedions in that course. the constitution of soviet union . yes, the soviet union -- which is russia now.
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germany, magna carta foundation of the british system, and constitution of the united states. so i got the materials and the very first document sitting on top of these materials titled "declaration of independence." i casually looked at it, placed materials on the side of my dorm desk.etal i said, "declaration of independence. declaration is given, the stowed. -- bestowed. said i had enough of this nation, we will ground them independence. but what are those people that declare their independence?" -- even today, i am
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sentiment when i looked at "declaration of independence." i continued to read it. all 1338 words -- i remember very clearly i took my shoes off because my feet were hurting. i was standing and reading. it is a little difficult english for me. i was trying to understand all of it will stop amazing. we of it.emain in a i did not do too well on that course because i was so focused on these documents. articles and the bill of rights. it made so much sense. that is the story that we tell in these books we trying to present it to america -- as a grateful citizen of this most humble -- i'm trying to present
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to my nation is that these values, these principles are worth standing for. i pay tribute to democracy now! and your effort, voice of democracy. democracy was amazingly expanded throughout last century. smaller nation, rest of the world saw the dignity in democracy, and they were incorporating these principles. those who do not like democracy, meaning authoritarian mentality, meaning the mentality like donald trump, mentality like putin and others, decided to attack democracy. our values of human dignity. what is our election system? .t is dignity for all that when we go to vote, nobody says "you are better, you are less." we're all equal. amy: khizr khan and how did you
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end up coming to the country and getting her citizenship the same year as your son got his citizenship? means.s person of modest time,d only dream at that no as 22 when i read the declaration of independence, that maybe one day i will go and see what kind of people are these that declared their independence. then i read the articles. that israel of law. then i read the declaration -- the constitution, the amendments of the bill of rights. these are human dignities. every human being that is on this planet aspires to have those dignities and freedoms. wow. the principle of of this nation. so i have veteran, but i had no means to come here. i went to work so i can gather enough funds. i had amazing interaction with
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americans that i will explain -- juan: you worked for an oil company. >> we tell the soul journey in this book. amazing interaction. i was in dubai. i hundred today room, a bare room -- i had rented a room, a bare room. it was for two days. i was to report for duty on monday. i go to work on monday. my first interaction with america is taking place now. i entered the office of that oil company. my boss comes and we go to his office and he is explaining piles of files and what my work is going to be all that. he looks at me the second time and said " khizr khan, you look tired. where have you been staying?"
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i did not tell him, but i told him i had rented a room will stop what was taking place for two days, oh sleeping on a floor. what was taking place for two days, i was sleeping on the floor with a suitcase as my fellow. and my towel as my bedsheet. two nights. and i tell that story to honor my readers and honor our audience, to tell all of that difficulty was worth coming to this nation. -- picksat me he says up his phone and call someday. within 30 minutes from his blessed wife is there any sesame, "let's go." i said, where we going? he said "we want you to go home." i was taken aback. what home? i don't have a home. this a room and a floor and four
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walls and my towel. so they took me to a fully furnished one-bedroom apartment. and we walked in. i was awestruck at the generosity of these people, two of them. it had everything that a person would need -- towels, bed sheets . i have never seen so many pillows on the bed ever in my life. spoons, forks, plates. then she opened the refrigerator and said there is bread and butter and jam for you to eat and all of that and we will see tomorrow. please rest. humbled, soo grateful for that moment that even today after so many years with having so many blessings in life and all that, that very moment from seeing the generosity of america, this
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person became the symbol of america for me. juan: eventually you come to the u.s. and you and up at harvard. harvard law school. your impression of your classmates at harvard was not as -- in the same vein as those first americans you met. you write in her book "i was a child of the proletarian, post-colonialism, people who have to work in order to eat, who understood the rich and powerful lived different link for the rest of us because i has suffered their whims and a lot of the people, the elite of america." >> they sat next to me. the brother of her president of a country. i explained that experience detailed in the book. was amazingly dignified class and classmates and all that, but i was there but they wasn't there. so i became known to the
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professors and to my classmates voice because i always spoke against the --loitation of poor nations from my perspective, whatever -- and really, that is what is the spirit of america. and somehow, that is why this connection is so strong. today, stronger than ever before in support of my nation from standing for these values is fairness. this nation is embodiment of fairness. fairness of human beings, fairness of each other. and that is the story that we try to tell. and that is the hope that we carry with us. to 162 community's so far. people are afraid because of the circumstances, because of the direction our country has taken. and these communities are
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worried. these are faith communities, immigrant community's, social and other organizations. but out of that fear comes hope. the fate in our constitution, and are come -- in our principles, and that hope will solve our problem. we just celebrated 230 years of our blessed constitution. we will continue this constitution. it's a values will prevail. that is the story that -- there is something secret that we don't -- it is not so obvious when you look at the book, but there is a message. the first page and the last page has a message of this book that intention, how we wish to present this book. one coat of want to follow-up with a question come your speech at the democratic national
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convention. you almost did not make it. you are invited, but you asked her friends and they told you not to do it that you would become a political on. but then you received a letter from a young girl that changed your mind? december --old in .e heard the bigoted statement wherever we would go, small kids -- we live in charlottesville, virginia, by the way. kids would come to us knowing i am a practicing lawyer. their parents would bring -- these are elementary school, but all school kids. they come to me and say, is this true? will we be thrown out of here? i would say, read the constitution. it is the 14th a mimic, section one. we are all granted equal protection, equal dignity. the kids would not be hardened
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test heart and. that was happening this way. in january, we received a call there was a tribute the dnc wishes to pay. they had invited other gold star family's and tribute being paid isthem as well and humayun one of them. we agree that was fine. we saw the tribute. it was wonderful and that is with the tribute was played during the convention. then came the invitation that we are inviting other gold star family's to come at the time of tribute, would you like to come? something told me this is not -- i'm not a political person, but i have some sense that such events could get out of hand. toldasked others and they us "do not go. this is not your cup of tea. you're not made for these things .
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these are totally out of your league." -- weled some other thought they were being protective of us, our sons. our friends. some a little more politically aware friends, they told us exactly the same thing. "we know your nature. your humble, modest, peaceful people, do not go." think in the letter you mentioned. we asked for two days. we almost decided sitting in the lookwith ghazala, we would at our son's picture and we would try to seek some guidance. thismost decided that afternoon i will call and tell them, thank you, we are not coming. i go to the mailbox. envelope, card in an the name of the school on top. it is a middle school. and then four names of the students of the fifth grade. this is the line that sent is there that he says moving even
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today. , please make khan malia is not thrown out of this country. she is our friend. we love her." i read it twice standing there. for two days we had been praying for guidance. we are people of faith. we believe in divine guidance and wisdom. i read it twice. i walked a little faster and went up into the home -- at home in the living room and i told ghazala, showed her. she read it and she looked at me and she said "we will go." amy: we're going to go to break. when we come back, we want to talk with you about president trump's approach to immigrants in the muslim ban and also your son fighting in iraq. khizr khan is our guest. his memoir is out this week called "an american family: a memoir of hope and sacrifice." yes a second book for young
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people "this is our constitution: discover america with a gold star father." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. our guest, gold star father khizr khan for the hour. his son killed in action in iraq in 2004. in your book, khizr khan, "an american family," you write -- "you know i'm against the work of my told humayun. he increased his mouth into a tight smile and nodded i know." what are your thoughts about the iraq war? >> this is nothing new.
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this is nothing secret. i have been against the reason for that. i know some history of that part of the world. centuries-old history. the conflicts that have existed there. for my nation, for my country to get involved in that, i was with the people that had disagreed with that. there was no american interest to be served there. that war had not served -- we were proven right, american interest. we could foresee that involvement in that part of the world with american blood and treasure will be a mistake. . was vocal about it at home i remain a vocal about that. so i share that with humayun and he knew that because he used to hear us speak that this is not going to serve our nation. and its interests.
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but here it was. his response was to me, he called baba which is equivalent to father and he said "you know i'm a military officer. i'm going there to protect by men and women. i am responsible for them and i don't think on the political line. that is washington's decision. we, members of the armed forces, served and opened the orders that are given to us by our seniors. , i see it, is to protect and that is why -- amy: was wondering your thoughts in 2004, i think it was the white house correspondents dinner, president bush, made a video joking about the failure of the u.s. defined weapons of mass distraction. this is what he said as he narrated slideshow of pictures from the white house showing himself looking under a piece of furniture. this is a clip of bush's joke.
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>> does weapons of mass destruction got to be somewhere. nope, no weapons over there. [laughter] maybe under here. amy: that was president bush a few months before your son was killed. >> yes. i could not see it now, don't want to hear it. look at the cost. look at the cost of that mistake. i go to arlington cemetery. i not only stand at the grave of captain humayun khan, then i come out and i stand at the corner where i can see all of my young heroes, my sons and
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daughters in section 60. that is where most of this country's best are buried, because of that. because of that mistake. i did not want to see it. i don't want to hear it. such mistakes should not be made. more deliberation. more thoughtfulness before sending the best of my country to these missions. trying to stop terrorism, the menace of terrorism must be defeated, but that was a mistake. and i'm not saying just because captain humayun khan died there, i'm speaking on behalf of those almost 5000 men and women that are in section 60 where i go quite often to reflect host of amy: people may not remember that you're famous speech of the convention was really about the muslim ban.
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donald trump wasn't president then, but soon after he became president, he instituted one and then another and another. most recently, struck down just in the last weeks. your thoughts on this? i understand you are supposed to give a speech just a few months ago, where was it -- >> canada. amy: is it true that the toronto organizers had to cancel the event because you were reportedly told your travel privileges are being reviewed? you have been a citizen for more than 30 years in this country. >> yes. what was taking place than that has been streamlined now, muslims, whenever they would travel back to the united states after traveling, they were asking to review their laptops and telephones. so you refuse and say "i'm a citizen.
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i'm not going to give you my password so you can see my telephone and search -- search my telephone or my laptop." and would ask you to wait it would be hours and hours and hours. there are some lawsuits that were filed at that time. i was advised that it is not prudent at this moment up until this glitch is cleared. lots of muslims are facing this difficulty at the airports. you are a possible target for that. so i refrained. that is what caused me. but since then, i have traveled england and europe. i was concerned. in my heart when i was standing in the line to check back in, i had called home before leaving that, please keep an eye on my arrival. because that was my concern. and for that purpose -- there
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was no difficulty afterwards. juan: i'm wondering, giving your collector find presentation at the democratic national convention, your reaction to the election of president trump and to the fact that a significant portion of the republican party base, no matter what he is done, continue to loyally support him? how do you assess that? was heartbroken, really sad, cannot comprehend how this could happen, how this could happen. but now as we are into the details of it, this foreign intervention had been an element in donald trump's victory. i trust in this nation trust the statements of this nation's most prominent security advisers, national security adviser's that have given a statement telling that, yes, there had been a foreign hand in destabilizing
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our democracy, our electoral system. ,hat is what they were aiming to create division. and the division within. look what has happened. as i mentioned, i come from charlottesville, virginia. i witnessed with my own eyes that march on august 12, friday night that took place. i was there in the traffic, stock. i was standing outside, but out of fear i said down in my car. i saw a rifles and multiple guns. and the worst thing i saw was not -- nazi flag on the streets blessedd states on the city of charlottesville. amy: we will continue this discussion and post it as part two at democracynow.org. our guest has been khizr khan. his new memoir is just out called, "an american family: a memoir of hope and sacrifice." has a young people's book "this is our constitution:
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discover america with a gold star father." [captionin
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